I bought the biggest honkin’ set of Prismacolors they make, 132 pencils. The tins in which Prismacolors are packaged nowadays are pretty but aren’t practical for daily use. So, what to do? I couldn’t find anything on the market that fit the bill. There are various generic boxes made for storage and transport, but not for ready availability. I finally thought to contact an established, award-winning colored pencil artist and ask what they use. So I emailed fellow CPSA member Jeff George. He was kind enough to send me a snapshot of his setup, a set of carboard tubes hot-glued to a piece of foamcore. Bingo!
I cut a piece of foamcore 6″x13″. Then I went to the hardware store and had them cut 8 pieces of 2.5″ PVC pipe, each 3.25″ long. I glued the lengths of pipe to the foamcore. Voila! A pencil holder that’s beefy, nothing’s going to knock it over. Yellows in one tube, reds in another, etc., tips up.
You could substitute cardboard tubes for PVC, and wood or plastic for foamcore.
While you’re at it, spend a couple of hours to do the following and you’ll never have to search more than a few seconds for the right color from a large set.
1. Sort pencils in chromatic sequence per Prismacolor’s website (http://www.prismacolor.com/products/colored-pencils/softcore-lead; click the Color Palettes tab, select your set size)
2. Wrap a little number label around the top of each pencil.
3. Create a sampler chart that includes the name, label number, and a color swatch for each pencil and post it near your drawing table.
4. Group pencils by general color in sequence. Now the next time you’re looking for just the right brown, refer to your sampler, note the label number, and pluck the pencil from its group.